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Monday, 30 March 2020 21:12

The Lessons of Coronavirus

Written by  Bob Serody

I saw Donald Trump berating General Motors and then reversing himself by invoking the Government Production Act to make GM produce ventilators. The previous day, he claimed the quantity of ventilators requested by the states - in particular NY - was greatly exaggerated. Federal coordination is totally lacking. Meanwhile, the states have individually taken over the needs of its citizens because the federal government has been unprepared to deal with this crisis, and lives outweigh the needs of the economy when the rate of infection is exponentially increasing. Yet, Republicans generally think the economy is more important than saving lives. Mick Mulvaney, the previous acting chief-of-staff for Trump, recently delivered a speech to CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), where he claimed the Democrats were using the Corona pandemic as a ploy for defeating Trump in the general election. Based on Trump’s short-term goal of having people return to work and fill the churches by Easter, can we expect the federal government to step up and meet the needs of the medical community under his lack of leadership?

Although the Democrats and Republicans finally united to pass a nearly three trillion-dollar bill, its passage was for different reasons. The bill was an act of desperation because the people demanded action. It doesn’t change the fact that the Republican Party is 100 percent behind Trump because he delivers to his base and can destroy the reputation of those who oppose him. Trump will undoubtedly try to use the Coronavirus to his advantage in winning reelection. In fact, his popularity is now at an all-time high. Those who support him haven’t changed their minds about who he is.

With the Coronavirus occupying center stage, the Democratic presidential candidate will have to decide how best to prevent Trump from winning reelection. There are a number of reasons why preventing a second term is so important. 

  1. The ineffectiveness of Congress in not being able to remove President Trump for violating the Constitution
  2. The crucial need for a leader who can effectively fight the Coronavirus
  3. The removal of a person whose narcissistic and egotistical tendencies place him above the people and who appoints only ‘yes' men in his administration 
  4. The reelection of Trump would very likely make him think it is a mandate for an oligarchy
  5. The need to remove a man who refuses to accept responsibility for his actions when they result in unacceptable consequences
  6. The likelihood of the enactment of laws associated with orthodox-religious beliefs, eliminating the separation of church and state
  7. The appointment of more ultraconservative judges, who would enact white racist policies and turn right-wing beliefs into the law, must be prevented
  8. The need to prevent the enforcement of racist policies by the police.
  9. The enactment of laws reversing the dangerous increase in gun ownership by the public
  10. Avoiding the consequences of electing a leader who believes he can do no wrong
  11. To prevent control over and elimination of a free press
  12. To prevent secret discussions with other dictatorships to undermine our own democracy and weaken our national security
  13. To prevent the control over our public and private institutions of education by a person without an education (and who doesn’t read)
  14. The return to our policy of accepting people seeking political asylum 
  15. The necessity of having a stable person in control of nuclear weapon release codes and restoring treaties among nations to reduce the number of warheads
  16. To reform an economy that serves only the few at the expense of the many

The last item refers to a severe tilt in the scale of economic opportunity, which has been extremely unbalanced for years. Acquisition of power that comes with wealth has been used to keep the scale unbalanced. This is why Trump looks for financial support from corporations and monopolies - to not only maintain his power but to increase his own wealth. This explains why he is so concerned with the huge drop in the stock market due to the Coronavirus. He fantasizes that he can get people back to work in a few weeks for the stock market to rebound in spite of the huge loss of Americans to the disease. He even believes the coronavirus will magically disappear. Republicans, not Democrats, favor the restoration of the economy over that of using self-quarantine to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Trump’s solution is for the public to experience self-induced euthanasia by rushing back to work in order to restore the economy.

Do we pick a solution based on the accumulation of medical resources to manage Covid-19 while people stay isolated, or do we listen to religious fanatics, corporations, and the Chamber of Commerce who put restoring the economy first regardless of the number of deaths that result? How will we be socially affected as a people, after this scourge is controlled? Hopefully, experiencing this pandemic will determine whether we come to realize our collective responsibility in reaching out to each other - that we will restore our health and then concentrate on restoring the health of our planet. The other possibility is unthinkable.

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 Bob Serody is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance.

*ED. NOTE: The views expressed here are solely those of the author. SCPA does not endorse candidates and welcomes commentary on a wide range of issues, including political campaigns, local, regional and national. If interested in contributing commentary, please contact the SCPA.

Last modified on Tuesday, 31 March 2020 07:49
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